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Blackjack v. Video Poker

Discussion in 'Casino Gaming' started by GROWLR, Feb 7, 2015.

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  1. GROWLR

    GROWLR Tourist

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    Hi all,

    I'm a long time poker player who wants to get into another game at the casino. I'm trying to decide between BJ and VP, since both involve some level of skill and knowledge on how to play each game optimally. I'm willing to put in the time to learn the Basic Strategy of both games, though I'm not necessarily going to learn to be a card counter because 1) it seems more trouble than it's worth for a recreational player unless I use an A/5 counting system or something else fairly rudimentary, and 2) Seems there are a lot of stories/instances out there about counters getting backed off (or worse) playing BJ, something I just don't want to have to deal with if it ever came to that. I want to have fun while minimizing house edge/losses.

    Basically I want another game I can spend my time, and money, at while in the casino. But I want it to be something that I put some time and effort into learning and playing well as that is part of the enjoyment for me.

    Though it's not necessarily my goal in this, which would be better for comps? I'm comfortable betting between $25-100 on BJ and playing max credits for VP, though I'm not sure what machine/denomination is the best way to go. BTW I have read the sticky at the top of this page about VP, which is one of the reasons I'm considering getting into VP. Though it's fair to say at this point I know much more about BJ than VP. But, as I said, I'm willing to put in the time on simulators and studying to be a knowledgable player.

    What say you all? Any advice/comments are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    None of us play for comps, right? But as a longtime craps player I know you are at the mercy of the suit and what he marks down as your avg bet. With VP, never an issue. If your card is in the machine, they, and you, know exactly how much you wagered.

    I am probably now a 95/5% VP player and before it just used to be 95% craps with a token amount of VP. I enjoy sitting at the bartops, never having an empty glass and conversations with the bartender and waitresses. I spent years training myself on optimum play on VP using Bob Dancer's Win Poker. I still occasionally go back to it at home to make sure I have not fallen into any bad habits.

    And probably the biggest reason is VP at the bar is the only game my wife plays and we can usually sit together for 10 hour VP marathons.
     
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  3. GROWLR

    GROWLR Tourist

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    Thanks Joe. I think you really hit all the pros of VP. Though I meant to ask this earlier, are the VP games on the casino floor generally better than the bar tops? I think I read somewhere that the bar tops had poorer pay schedules. Which VP game is your go-to? Or do you play a number of different games?
     
  4. mrstealth

    mrstealth High-Roller

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    If you are looking to expand your games to get room offers and a little free play, a lot will depend on where you like to stay as to which game you choose. If you like to stay downtown, then either game you describe at the level you are thinking of betting and .25 cent video poker and above with a $300 - $500 per day bankroll you will start to see room offers.

    On the strip, if you prefer CET properties, I would go with the Video poker, if you play table games, go with MGM properties.

    And I'll answer for Joe, the bartops tend to have lower paytables than games on the floor. For instance, on the floor a full house may pay 45 coins for a full house and 30 for a flush (assuming 5 max coins played, also called a 9/6), at the bar it will pay 40 or maybe even 35 coins for the full house and 25 for the flush. Having said that, sometimes though they will have a progressive for the royal flush which if it is high enough, will make up a little for the loss in paytable.
     
  5. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I do 99.5% of my gambling downtown and most at the bartops. I can play 9/6 JOB at MSS, but get a little bored and my main game is 9/5 DDB. Now, I can walk across the bridge and play 9/6 DDB at Cal but I enjoy knowing all the employees at MSS and just generally catching up on what's new since we were there 3 months ago. So, I give a little away to gamble and chat.

    Yes, there are better paytables on the floor games, but you have to look first. :poke: Not a guarantee that they are better.

    Also, all my comments are from the downtown perspective, I rarely gamble on the Strip.
     
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  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Bartops are usually a percent or two worse given the denomination...but it really depends on the casino. Some CET casinos have 7/5 Bonus w/Super Times Pay (98.29% w/STP) for quarters at bartops, which is the one of the best quarter games you'll find on the floor there as well. Joe also gave good examples of full pay games at the bars downtown too. Four queens, Plaza, and the D offer some full pay games at their bars too. MGM does too, but it's often at the $5 credit level. Luxor offers 9/6 Jacks at the $1 level in their high limit bar.

    As for my "go to" game... Whichever game pays the best at wherever i'm at. But I also have most of the major games strategies down pretty well. For most people, I'd recommend learning JoB followed by DDB. JoB works very well for Bonus and Bonus Deluxe as well. DDB works well for Triple Bonus Plus (best CET game king game at the bar).
     
  7. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Go with blackjack. Video poker is a c**ksuckin' motherf***in' bitch of a game that will rob you, rape you, and leave you for dead.
     
  8. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Cmon, dont sugar coat it, what do you really think?
     
  9. GROWLR

    GROWLR Tourist

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    Thanks for all the replies so far. They make me realize that I should have given a little more information regarding where I usually play. I get about 80% of my comps through MLife and usually stay at the Mirage. The rest we get from the V/P. I have done very little gambling at CET properties other than poker at Caesars. That being said I'm not adverse to playing VP (or BJ, for that matter) at a property I haven't spent much time at. I realize that different properties have different games and therefore different pros and cons for VP and BJ.

    I realize also that it sometimes comes down to how much fun a game is and how social you want to be. Last time I was in Las Vegas I spent a couple of hours at the bar in the Mirage next to the sports book playing VP (though not really knowing what I was doing) watching football and drinking bloody mary's and all-in-all having a pretty good time.

    It seems like getting to be competent in VP basic strategy is a decent amount of work especially considering the number of different games available. Though I appreciate the comments by tringlomane about leaning a couple of strategies that work for numerous games. What would be the best way to go about this?
     
  10. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    Couple of my thoughts on VP..It's just you vs machine and Buy-in whatever you want..Slip a 20 in the machine and you're off.Can't do that at a BJ table and deal with perhaps a grumpy dealer,drunk players etc.I've blown $200 buy-ins at a $15 3/2 table in the time it takes for a VP machine to finally take that $20..Both are losing scenarios just for example and you never now till it's over.I'm just looking for longer play...

    That is why I also only play bartop VP.On the floor there is nothing else to do but punch buttons..Bartop you have the tender right there along with TV's to watch and new found friends sitting next to you..better paytables on the floor= less drinks from the bartop,I think it evens out.

    My usual play involves $20 in at DDB ($.25 max bet) and cash out with 4ofa kind.Insert a new $20.If the original $20 loses,switch to Dueces.If that fails,then move one machine over and start over.
    This small play has been good enough for a few comped rooms at CET past 12 years or so.
     
  11. Landshark

    Landshark Way into it...

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    And Blackjack is a sure deal.

    :poke:

    Both games are going to require that you learn basic strategy and practice to get yourself to expert-level play. The advantage of VP is that you're the only one who controls, benefits from, or suffers from the choices made. Plus, everything else Jamesxni said.
     
  12. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    Similarly, Aria has 9/5 JoB at the $1 level at Lift Bar, which is better than the vast majority of Strip bartops (Luxor high-limit room seems to be one of the few exceptions), no different from what's on the floor (at least, I've never seen any 9/6 at the $1 level there), and you can get fantastic craft cocktails there.
     
  13. GROWLR

    GROWLR Tourist

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    Thanks for all the input here. Seems like the consensus is to go for VP. Makes sense to me that I should learn the Basic Strategy for VP so that I could take advantage of an opportunity to play a good game in a good situation for me. Plus I feel I'm competent enough at BJ that I could do the same with that game too. Besides the Dancer books anyone have suggestions on learning VP? Is there an app for that?
     
  14. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    The Wizard of Odds site has a decent trainer app. The biggest thing, at least for JoB, is to just learn the non-intuitive plays like keeping a low pair over a few single high cards. After that, you get into decimal points (e.g., keeping an unsuited JQ over a suited TJ, which is a difference of .0012 credits)
     
  15. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    Yep.

    For all of you VP players that can do a 14 day trip on $100... send me $100 to try, because mine lasts 14 minutes.

    I haven't had a 4-bagger in months, as my bankroll disappears first.
     
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  16. Gamesman

    Gamesman VIP Whale

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    I've played BJ for years and tried some VP last year. I had one decent session and the rest were losers. I went back to BJ. I play at mostly CET properties.
     
  17. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Well, this comment helps a bit. Play blackjack at Mirage. The Mirage Sports Bar have the worst paytables north of Excalibur. You could play at the snoozy Mirage lobby bar for $10 per hand for ~99% paytables.

    As for learning the strategies. Lots of resources at the wizard of odds website.

    9/6 JoB strategy:
    http://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/strategy/jacks-or-better/9-6/optimal/

    9/6 DDB strategy:
    http://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/strategy/double-double-bonus/9-6/

    Major Deviations from 9/6 JoB strategy for other games:
    http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?112319-How-do-you-know-ALL-the-video-poker-strategies&p=1020345#post1020345

    A good free training program for the PC (although old) is "Frugal Video Poker". Paytables are adjustable, which is useful for playing bartop games as many bartops aren't full pay.

    http://www.wolfvideopoker.com/FVP.htm
     
  18. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    "The advantage of VP is that you're the only one who controls, benefits from, or suffers from the choices made. "

    If you are even tempted to think that way, do the rest of us a favor and stay away from the BJ tables.

    I have had good experiences at the green tables at Venetian/Palazzo, but that could just be careful/lucky selection of tables. Might not work at black or higher.

    You owe it to yourself to try both games. Neither takes excessively long to learn. I suspect you will prefer blackjack, mainly because you are used to interacting with other people. You aren't reading people or practicing deception, as you are at the poker table, but both are people games. Well, there is a small amount of deception if you decide to count. You might enjoy it.
     
  19. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    Mirage blackjack is almost completely 6:5 at levels under $25.
     
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  20. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    OK to delete duplicate...
     
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